Dental Care Problems for Seniors By Bruce Wilderman on November 07, 2014

An older woman smilingThe team at Artistic Expressions Dentistry understands that older patients have unique dental care needs. This is why so many senior patients in the greater Philadelphia area trust our team with their general and restorative dentistry needs, improving health and wellness as well as smile aesthetics. With that in mind, let's take a moment right now to consider some of the common dental problems that face patients in their golden years.

Greater Likelihood of Gum Recession

As you get older, your gums are subject to more wear and tear. This can lead to the loss of tissue along the gumline and exposure of your tooth roots. This means increased tooth sensitivity and greater likelihood of tooth decay below the gumline.

To treat this recession, one common option is to perform a gum grafting procedure. Prevention is key, of course, and this can involve treating gum disease or modifying dental hygiene habits.

Advanced Tooth Decay and Tooth Damage

In addition to wear and tear on the gums, wear and tear on your teeth can also occur over time from cavities and injury. Even if you brush and floss regularly and have done your best to protect your teeth from getting chipped or cracked, your teeth might be worn a bit from normal biting and chewing.

To treat tooth damage of various kinds, it's not uncommon to use various kinds of dental restorations, such as fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns. The ideal treatment will depend on the extent of the tooth damage.

Issues with Tooth Loss

Tooth loss become more likely as you get older. This may be a result of decay, wear and tear, injury, or even gum disease and gum recession. In some cases the tooth loss can be especially pronounced, resulting in multiple missing teeth along the dental arch.

When you are missing teeth, the most common options tend to be the use of dental bridges and dentures. Some patients may be eligible for dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the jawbone and gum tissue to support dental appliances.

Persistent Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is often a problem as you age, resulting in discomfort as well as difficulties eating and speaking. The cause may be related to blockages of the salivary glands, inactive salivary glands, or a symptom of a major health problem.

During a dental visit, your dentist will be able to determine what the exact cause of your dry mouth is and then tailor treatment accordingly to your needs.

Major Tooth Discoloration

A combination of external factors (e.g., food, beverages, tobacco products) and intrinsic discolorations (e.g., infection within a tooth, tooth injury) can result in age-related dental stains. Sometimes the staining is just a basic yellowing, though sometimes the teeth can appear dark or brown.

Teeth whitening treatment is a common option to address external tooth stains while porcelain veneers, dental bonding, and crowns are better suited for internal dental stains. Combinations of these different extrinsic/intrinsic treatments will generally be ideal given the nature of the discoloration.

Problems Associated with Bridges and Dentures

Sometimes if you have had a dental bridge or denture for a while, it may not fit as well as it used to, resulting in sores along your gumline, discomfort, accidental slippage, and even pain as you bite and chew. The appliance may also need some repair or upkeep due to wear and tear.

In order to address these matters, various solutions are available, from making adjustments to the dental bridge or denture, making repairs to damaged dental appliances, or even crafting new appliances as needed.

Schedule a Consultation at Our Practice

For more information about the dental care needs of senior citizens and other dental health concerns, be sure to contact our cosmetic dentistry center today. The entire team here at Artistic Expressions Dentistry looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you have a healthy smile well into your golden years.

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Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Dr. Bruce Wilderman has been providing comprehensive cosmetic dentistry services since 1986. By combining a true sense of artistry with state-of-the-art technology, he can provide stunning results. At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we are proud to be affiliated with:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact our practice online or call (215) 340-1199 today.

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